Israeli soldiers relax during a “humanitarian” pause in the fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Following a three-hour pause in its aerial bombardment to allow those in the Gaza Strip to “get medical attention, get supplies ... whatever they need,” Israel has resumed its attack, although it promised additional halts amid reports that Hamas and Israel are working out details of a cease-fire. Overall, 660 people have been reported killed, including more than 200 children.
For a link to an article regarding casualties, visit the BBC.
The New York Times:
Israel pressed on with its 12-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday , but it allowed a brief suspension to permit humanitarian aid to reach the beleaguered population and agreed to future brief halts, while the Israeli security cabinet postponed a vote authorizing a further stage of the ground operation.
The day after Israeli mortar shells killed as many as 40 Palestinians, among them women and children, outside a United Nations school in Gaza, diplomatic efforts to bring the fighting to a halt intensified. France and Egypt and Turkey were working on a plan that would work to halt rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, open up crossings into Gaza from both Israel and Egypt, and end weapons smuggling from Egypt. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, said the cease-fire plan had been agreed on, but Israel and Hamas both said that there were many details to be worked out. Israel was due to send officials to Cairo for further discussions.
The death toll in Gaza reached around 660 on Wednesday, according to Palestinian health officials. The United Nations has estimated that about one-fourth of those dying in Gaza are civilians, but there is little certainty about the current figures.